Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guest Artists on 'This Christmas with Imani Winds': Jason Moran, James Genus, Nate Smith & Javier Diaz

[This Christmas with Imani Winds; Koch International Classics 7748 (2008) (55:28)]

On Dec. 2, 2010 AfriClassical posted: “ 'This Christmas with Imani Winds' a 'fun collection of arrangements of Christmas classics.'” We mentioned that the CD was enthusiastically received by a number of critics when it was released. We also noted that the disc is available from retailers such as for about $16.99, and that Merchants offer it new from $10.45.

The recording was made in February 2008 at the Performing Arts Center in Purchase, New York. The songs are traditional, but the Imani Winds and their special guests have reinterpreted them in a most creative manner, blending liveliness and reverence. The liner notes give an introduction to the wind quintet:

“Imani Winds has established itself as more than a wind quintet. Since 1997, the Grammy-nominated ensemble has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic performances, culturally poignant programming, genre-blurring collaborations, and inspirational outreach programs. With a deep commitment to commissioning new works, the group is enriching the traditional wind quintet repertoire while meaningfully bridging European, American, African and Latin American traditions.”

The wind quintet is joined on the CD by guest artists Jason Moran, piano; James Genus, bass; Nate Smith, drums; and Javier Diaz, percussion. The notes identify the musicians who made the arrangements:

Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella Jeff Scott.
Jingle Bells Valerie Coleman
Sleigh Ride Jeff Scott
Silent Night Valerie Coleman
I Saw Three Ships Jeff Scott
The Holly and the Ivy Valerie Coleman
Christmas Time Is Here Jeff Scott
Carol of the Bells Jeff Scott
Let It Snow Valerie Coleman
The Christmas Song John Clark
O Holy Night John Clark
Go Tell It on the Mountain Valerie Coleman
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Valerie Coleman
This Christmas Jeff Scott

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